OxFitness Lab in Doha

Meets the guys revolutionising the way we think about health and fitness Discuss this article

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OxFitness Lab is not a gym, we’re told, and, to be fair, it doesn’t particularly look like one. The circular entrance looks very sci-fi and inside is contemporary and minimal: more like a science facility than a fitness venue.

We find out, however, that this isn’t completely inaccurate. “OxFitness was founded based on a lengthy learning experience,” Business Development Director Sebastian de Groot van Embden tells us. In 2013, Sebastian became the team manager for Mohamed Abuissa (Qatar
Rally champion). After the first season, the team found that what held them back the most was “the lack of synergy between the core elements of Mohamed’s wellbeing, training, health and lifestyle”.

By bringing everything under one roof and aligning everyone’s goals, they knew they would achieve even greater success, so they brought on an in-house personal trainer, nutritionist and physiotherapist. After getting amazing results, Sebastian and Mohamed decided to use the same formula to create an all-encompassing health and fitness facility.

The lab’s ethos has been built around three core pillars: OxHealth, OxTraining and OxLife. After joining, all members get a full-body assessment of their physiological make-up and fitness levels which informs a bespoke plan across training, nutrition and physiotherapy.

Having everyone under one roof means that everyone is on the same page when it comes to individual goals, and your progress is tracked through a custom-built software system. Trainers can see whether you are keeping up with your fitness plan and determine whether it needs modifying.

“This is a super-important tool,” Sebastian says, “[enabling] our whole team to be fully informed about each one of our members and their objectives.”

For example, if you’ve been recommended to do three cardio workouts in a week and don’t, your trainer can check in with you to find out why: is the current plan working for you? Does your training need to be approached differently maybe?

With state-of-the-art facilities such as Queenax and CrossFit equipment, luxurious changing rooms with plenty of amenities and a café serving healthy meals and smoothies, OxFitness truly offers everything you need in one place – with plenty more to come.

The café is also developing a menu of meals with specific nutritional benefits, so if your nutritionist tells you to eat a vitamin- or protein-rich meal, there will be menu options there for you to order.

The lab is also pioneering fitness trends in the city. It’s currently the only venue in Doha, for example, that offers RealRyder spinning – the latest technology in bikes that work out your core as well as your legs by having the bikes move on a water-based axis (this makes it closer to the true feeling of cycling outdoors). Other classes on offer include yoga, martial arts, Body Pump, Reformer Pilates as well as pre- and post-natal treatment.

OxFitness aims for quality over quantity, so classes are kept small and memberships are capped at just 300. “The genuine care of our members and our team is the top priority,” Sebastian explains, and keeping numbers low allows the staff to invest the maximum amount of time in members, “to help our team ensure members are receiving the best service and a high level of dedicated care.”

Memberships aren’t cheap, but then this isn’t just your average old membership. Aside from the health and fitness services, everything about the facility feels new and luxurious. The café is bright, comfy and the kind of place you’d be genuinely happy to hang out in, which is what the team at the lab are hoping will happen.

Workouts are tough, we’re told, so clients shouldn’t turn up expecting an easy 30-minutes on a treadmill.But at least at the end of a gruelling training session, you’ve got plenty to look forward to, whether that’s a filling, healthy meal or a fresh fruit smoothie before heading off to work. If there’s ever a gym you should be investing time and money in, this is it.
QR15,000 (six months, single, paid in full), QR25,000 (annual, single, paid in full), QR31,000 (annual, couple, paid in full); QR2,292 (annual, single, paid monthly), QR2,792 (annual, couple, paid monthly). The Gate Mall, West Bay, www.oxfitnesslab.com (4020 6430).

By Sofia Vyas
Time Out Doha,

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